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Int. J.

of Thermal & Environmental Engineering


Volume 4, No. 1 (2012) 73-79

A Study on Modification of Knowledge, Attitude and Practice on


Vocational High School Electronics Courses Integrated with
Nanotechnology Concept

Dai Chien-Yun, Chen Wan-Fei, Yuan Yu-Hsi, Yen Chia-Hung*


Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, 106
Abstract
The purpose of this study is trying to explore the discrepancy of knowledge (K), attitude (A), and practice (P) before and
after the experimental teaching on nanotechnology infused into electronic course in vocational high school. Valid 116
samples were selected from department of electronic of one vocational high school in Taiwan via judgmental sampling.
The research result shows that students who received nanotechnology are rise their knowledge test scores dramatically
that post-test (M=24.03、SD=2.48) higher than pre-test (M=13.71、SD=3.14); meanwhile, the growth rate around 30%.
The analysis result of attitude as 1. The designed materials were suite for students in nanotechnology learning and it will
not cause their learning loading rise, hence, students tended to participant nanotechnology related studies and activities
initiatively. 2. It is agreed by students that appropriate nano-product can facilitate the convenience of our life. The
analysis result of practice as 1. Students either can describe functions at nano-scale within natural world or can identify
material physical characteristic at nano-scale. 2. Students learned to search nanotechnology related information and
know how to analyze the special function of nano-product.

Keywords: nanotechnology, KAP, vocational high schools electronics courses


such as ecological teaching and research, environmental
teaching, medical education (Chien & Tsay, 2001; Feng & Li,
1. Introduction 2004; Lee, 2006; Liao et al., 2006; Luo, Zheng, & Zhou, 2010).
Summarizing the reasons above, this study aims to understand
1.1. General Background Information the changes in students’ knowledge, attitude and practice after
incorporating the concept of nanotechnology into the
Nanotechnology is emerging rapidly in recent years, becoming curriculum of electronics courses in the vocational high schools
a strong new trend in global technology (Islam & Miyazaki, experimental teaching.
2009). With the advancement of nanotechnology, nano-
materials are found in wide applications that bring the 1.2. Purpose
character manifested under the nano scale by atoms and
molecules under control in the development of new materials, This study utilizes KAP Scale as a research tool to explore the
components, processes and systems (Zheng, Lin & Lei, 2006), differences in students’ knowledge, attitude and practice after
and that the manufactured nanotechnology products are participating in the experimental teaching which incorporates
developed with the goal of being slim and light. Understanding the concept of nanotechnology into the curriculum of
nanotechnology and its applications has definitely become the electronics courses in vocational high schools.
new research area that every industry is actively participating
in (Xu, Li & Li, 2009).
2. Literature Review
This study is based on the KAP theory model, first
investigating whether students have taken courses in
nanotechnology concept, and then exploring the differences in 2.1. Nanotechnology
their knowledge, attitude and practice. Cai (2007) thinks Nanotechnology is regarded as a new economic opportunity
individual knowledge affects one’s learning attitude. Once the and a technological revolution in the twenty-first century, and
attitude is set, it will further affect learner’s performance. KAP is also regarded as, the most significant in the industries, the
concept is also applied in various aspects of teaching strategies, fourth wave of technological revolution (Ma, 2002). The so-
*
Corresponding author, Chia-Hung, Yen. Tel.: +886910356224
E-mail: yen_chiahung@hotmail.com
© 2011 International Association for Sharing Knowledge and Sustainability
DOI: 10.5383/ijtee.04.01.011

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called nano is a very tiny unit in length. A Nobel Laureate, learning attitude is relatively more positive. Other related
American physicist Richard P. Feynman, in 1959, proposed an studies find that knowledge will directly affect the attitude and
idea to reduce the content of the Encyclopedia Britannica to a practice, and that attitude will directly affect practice or
finger tip. The idea was later manifested into the concept of intentions, except that the degree of impacts that knowledge
being slim and light and found popular applications in various affects practice through attitude is better than that of
fields (He, Chen & Liao, 2004; Liao et al., 2004). Today the knowledge affects practice directly (Li, 2002; Lin, 2001; Lai,
applications of nanotechnology cross many fields, such as 2006; Lee, 2006). Therefore, this article uses KAP framework
applied physics, materials science, chemistry, biology, robotic as the base to develop the required assessment tool.
science, engineering, electrical engineering and biomedical
engineering. It is included in, and is considered a very
important part of, technological fields, sciences and
engineering research fields. Discoveries and breakthroughs in
nanotechnology are spreading rapidly in advanced countries. It
is expected that this new technology will bring more benefits to
mankind (Ahmed & Jackson, 2009; Kumiko & Nazrul, 2007;
Romig, Baker, Johannes, Zipperian, Eijkel & Kirchhoff, 2007;
Zitt & Bassecoulard, 2006). Therefore, allowing vocational
high school students to learn the knowledge and the
applications of the nanotechnology concept early: this research
studies nanotechnology-related course materials and classroom
digital media, and investigates students learning effectiveness Fig. 1 The influence diagram of knowledge, attitude and practice
through experimental teaching, hoping to achieve the goal of
pursuing practical applications in vocational education and to 2.3. New Vocational High School Curriculum
accomplish the task of nurturing talents with the basic The future of vocational education needs to work towards
knowledge of emerging technology. cultivating innovative technology, fostering international
talents, and enhancing international competitiveness (Hsu,
2.2. “Knowledge, Attitude, Practice”, KAP Model 2007). As far as balancing the theory and the practice in
Rogers proposed DOI theory (Diffusion of Innovations) in vocational high school curriculum, from the viewpoint of the
1962. This theory tries to describe the process that new ideas, entire vocational education system, the curriculum must be
or new methods, spread over time. The theory consists of reformed without delay. As the conventional industries are
features such as, that the spreading occurs because of the impacted by vary factors, such as: high-tech industries,
passing of time, and that most people will experience the knowledge-based economy and globalization, the tasks of
usage, but not the adoption, of an innovation. In recent years, nurturing intellectual technical professionals, assisting in
scholars have been conducting empirical research on industrial professionalization upgrading and restructuring, and
innovation diffusion theory, and have integrated the innovation setting foundations for knowledge-based technical
adoptions into three stages: knowledge, attitude and practice professionals, as required by technological industries, are the
(Hubbard & Hayashi, 2003). The learning knowledge of the new missions in the new era of vocational education (Yang,
learner affects his learning attitude, while learning attitude 2001). Vocational education is the cradle of training technical
affects, and is shown through, the learner’s (learning) behavior talents in our country, and is also an important foundation in
(Wang, Huang, Tang, Ye & Zeng, 2009). On one hand, KAP strengthening national competitiveness. The effect directly
model had been employed in the hygiene education field from impacts national economical development. The revision of the
1960’s to teaching patients how to correct their health behavior vocational school curriculum should take into account the
in practice, the cognitive learning was focus on the knowledge manpower structures and qualifications required by the
and the ability of realization; the affective learning means to knowledge-intensive industry (Tien, 2005).
change subject’s intention, attitude or norms to adjust
themselves through hygiene education, the psychomotor
learning was focus on cultivating learner’s health behavior
3. Research Design
(Lothian, Ferrence & Kaiserman, 1996). On the other hand,
educational field focus on cultivating student’s cognitive, 3.1. Research Framework
affective, and psychomotor (Bloom, Engelhart, Furst, Hill & This study utilizes the KAP scale of teaching nanotechnology
Krathwohl, 1956), against KAP model in hygiene education concept as a research tool. While taking the experiment group,
field, K (knowledge) to cognitive, A (attitude) to affective, and which implementing nanotechnology courses, along with
P (practice) to psychomotor in educational field, the difference control group (only provides course handouts) as independent
is psychomotor require students learned some skills, compared variables, and taking the questionnaire that contains three
with P (practice) was require the changing of behavior as aspects: knowledge, attitude and practice as the dependent
target. Concerning the nanotechnology teaching in high school variable, after excluding the interference variables, such as
level was focus on tracing students’ change of behavior instead student quality, teaching time, teaching contents, and teaching
of skill learning, therefore, KAP model had been utilized as locations, obtains research data through experimental teaching
research model to explore students’ learning performance in and questionnaire survey. The data is tested with paired t-test
this study. to understand the differences in the knowledge scale of
Conventional thinking in the field of education is that nanotechnology concept teaching under different teaching
knowledge affects the learner’s attitude directly, and the methods, and lastly, the data is further tested with independent
attitude is transformed into behavior. Figure 1 in the Appendix t-test to analyze the differences in students’ attitudes and
shows the mode of operation. Xie (2003) discovers in her practices after implementing the teaching of vocational high
research that if the student has a higher level of knowledge, his school electronics courses with integrated nanotechnology
concepts. Figure 2 shows the research framework.

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Chien-Yun et al. / Int. J. of Thermal & Environmental Engineering, 4 (2012) 73-79

Dependent variables
Independent variables
Knowledge, Attitude,
Background Practice
․Knowledge scale of
․Experimental group․ nanotechnology
․implementing concept teaching
paired t-test
nanotechnology ․Attitude scale of
independent t-test
courses nanotechnology
․Control group․ concept teaching
․only provides course ․Practice scale of
handouts nanotechnology
concept teaching

Control variable

․student quality : the same students with the school.


․teaching time : same class hours.
․teaching contents : the same teaching material except for different background.
․teaching locations: traditional classroom.

Fig. 2 Research Framework

Because of field teaching restrictions, the experimental


3.2. Methodology designed method of randomly assigning subjects to an
This study is based on vocational high school courses experiment group and a control group was not possible, we
developed by the Ministry of Education, using expert adopted non-equivalent control group pre-test—post-test from
conference to proceed with the preparation of research tool and the quasi-experimental research method.
using quasi-experimental research method to implement
Longitudinal research has been treated as temporal order,
experimental teaching and to assess learning achievement.
measuring change, and making stronger causal interpretations,
Below is the explanation of each step.
particularly when the temporal order variables such as gender,
race, and age, meanwhile, a longitudinal data are certainly not a
3.2.1 Expert Conference cure for weak research design and data analysis (Menard,
The team invited experts and scholars in the field of 2002). Due to this is an exploring research to discover the
nanotechnology, experts in the electronic related industries, possibility of nanotechnology teaching in high school level and
experts of technical and vocational education, teachers in the for some research limitation reasons, therefore, we use the
electronics division and specialists in the media to examine the quasi-experimental research method instead of longitudinal
appropriateness of the related course contents and materials. research.
For the questionnaire validity, the team also invited the
Psychology and Assessment Center director from National 3.2.2.1 Independent Variable: implementing the teaching of
Taiwan Normal University, professors of the applied nanotechnology concept.
electronics department from National Taiwan Normal
University and faculty teachers from national vocational high a) Experiment Group (Electronic Engineering A)
schools, totaling eight people, participating in six expert implemented with digital multimedia teaching and
conferences, to review and revise the content of the written learning materials teaching program, and
questionnaire. The research team constructed the developed the labeled as X1.
Vocational High School Learning Nanotechnology Knowledge, b) Control Group (Electronic Engineering B)
Attitude and Practice (KAP) Assessment Scale to assess the implemented with traditional teaching method,
effectiveness of student learning. followed normal teaching process.

3.2.2.2 Dependent Variable: testing students, who received


3.2.2 Quasi-Experimental Research Method professional electronics courses with integrated
Table 1 explains the experimental design framework. nanotechnology concepts education, with KAP scale.
Table 1 Experiment design
3.3. Research Subjects
Group Pre-test Treatment Post-test
This study selected students from the electronic engineering
EG Y1 X1 Y3 division of a vocational school in Taiwan with judgmental
CG Y2 Y4 sampling, and obtained 116 valid samples. Table 2 in the
Annotation: X1 indicates to experimental treatment; Y1, Y2 indicate appendix shows the detail.
to pre-test ;Y3, Y4 indicate to post-test; EG= experimental group; CG=
control group

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Table 2 Distribution of the number of research object 3.5. Reliability and Validity of Research Tool

Group Sample(n) Percentage(%) Below is the description of the reliability and validity of the
research tool KAP scale used in this study.
Experimental group
(Nanotechnology concept 77 66.4
3.5.1 Reliability
teaching)
Control group KAP reliability coefficients are, respectively, “knowledge” is
39 33.6 .903; “attitude” is .914; “practice” is .943. Each is greater than
(Standard teaching)
0.70. Therefore, the knowledge, attitude, and practice scales of
Total 116 100 teaching nanotechnology concept have good reliability (as
shown in Table 3). (Nunnally, 1978; George & Mallery, 2003)
3.4. Research Process
Table 3 Reliability analysis abstract of Knowledge, attitude,
For the experimental teaching courses of this study, we practice of Nanotechnology concept teaching
selected seven units of four chapters from the electronics
course, a total of 12 sections, as the experimental teaching Project Numbers of Reliability
theme unit, and then conducted general teaching experiments. questions analysis
Teachers, when conducting the experimental teaching, may Knowledge scale of 30 .903
chose the appropriate teaching resources according to the nanotechnology concept teaching (K-R 20)
programmed schedule, and may have the flexibility to adjust
teaching methods. The process of the experiment is that the Attitude scale of nanotechnology 25 .914
pre-test was conducted to the experiment group and control concept teaching (Cronbach’s α)
group. The content of the pre-test was obtained by blending Practice scale of nanotechnology 25 .943
nanotechnology into professional subject knowledge scale, and concept teaching (Cronbach’s α)
then the teaching was performed to the experiment group the
following week. The teaching process was conducted by giving
multimedia presentations and providing students with student 3.5.2 Validity
version written materials for their reading and reference; while
providing handouts for reading and reference of the same The meaning and the content of each question in the scale were
content to the students in the control group, without performing discussed six times in the expert conference and were revised
teaching. Post- test was conducted after students of the many times. So the scale has expert validity.
experiment group and control group went through the entire
experimental teaching. The content of the post-test was
obtained by integrating nanotechnology into professional 4. Analysis Results
subjects with knowledge, attitude, and practice. Figure 3 shows
the flow of research process. 4.1. Analysis of the variance in the knowledge scale of
teaching nanotechnology concept
Table 4 shows the summary table of the mean, standard
deviation and paired t test, obtained from the pre- and post-test
of the knowledge scale of vocational high school electronic
curriculum with integrated nanotechnology concept teaching.
Table 4. Analysis abstract of mean, standard deviation and
t-test of pre-test and post-test on knowledge scale of
nanotechnology concept teaching infused into electronic
course in vocational high schools.
Pre-test Post-test
Group t value
M SD M SD
experimental group 13.71 3.14 24.03 2.48 -24.621***
Control group 9.90 5.89 11.85 3.83 -1.717
***p<.001
Fig. 3 Procedure
In the experiment group (t = -24.621; p <.001), reaching a
The learning activity was designed as “fused into curriculum in
significant level, rejecting null hypothesis. This proves that
professional units”, we first review the chapters to decide the
students in the experiment group, after the experimental
appropriated sections shall be add nanotechnology contents and
teaching is performed, show significant differences in learning
then we developed additional digital materials and instructions.
the knowledge of nanotechnology concept. Therefore, through
The courses were conducted following semester schedule then
the mean value from the pre-test and post-test, we find that
an extra introduction in nanotechnology around 10 to 15
students receiving the integrated nanotechnology concept
minutes in particular units or sections. The digital materials
teaching have a higher post-test value than the pre-test value.
were utilized to let students realized the structures, patterns or
In the control group, t value equals -1.717 (p>.05), not reaching
characteristics of the material in nano-scale. Prior to teaching
a significant level, accepting null hypothesis. This proves that
nanotechnology knowledge, we conduct a pre-test to control
students in the control group, without the experimental
the knowledge basis of students and then a post-test was
teaching, show little learning in the knowledge of
conducted for comparison.
nanotechnology concept.

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4.2. Analysis of the variance in the attitude scale of teaching which the experiment group (M = 3.03; SD = 0.73) is higher
nanotechnology concept than the control group (M = 2.55; SD = 0.89).
The result of independent sample t-test, we understand the
differences between the two groups in the attitude scale of Table 6. Analysis abstract of mean, standard deviation and
teaching nanotechnology concept. The analysis result shows t-test of pre-test and post-test on practice scale of
whether the teaching is conducted contributes to the students’ nanotechnology concept teaching infused into electronic
learning attitude, where “Question 1: I think that integrating course in vocational high schools.
nanotechnology into the professional subject will not cause a
Item Group Mean Standard Deviation t value
burden in my learning” and “Question 15: I think that choosing
appropriate nano products may enhance the quality of life.” EG 3.57 0.80
2. 0.508***
Both reach a significant level of difference, as shown in Table CG 2.68 0.93
5; while the rest of the questions fall below the significant EG 3.04 0.75
8. 4.656*
level. CG 2.66 0.97
Table 5 Analysis abstract of mean, standard deviation and EG 3.03 0.73
12. 6.977**
t-test of pre-test and post-test on attitude scale of CG 2.55 0.89
nanotechnology concept teaching infused into electronic EG=Experimental Group; CG= Control Group; * p<.05; **
course in vocational high schools. p<.01; *** p<.001
Ite
Group Mean S.D. t value
m 5. Conclusions and Recommendations
1 EG 3.60 0.92 2.112*
After the experimental teaching, we found that students from
CG 3.18 1.20
the experiment group and the control group show significant
5 EG 3.56 0.88 2.594* differences in the learning of the nanotechnology conceptual
CG 3.16 1.22 knowledge and in their attitude and practice when dealing with
15 EG 4.31 0.71 5.474* nanotechnology. The following description illustrates the
CG 3.92 1.08 conclusions of this research in all aspects.
EG=Experimental Group; CG= Control Group; * p<.05
5.1. Conclusions
We check the variance equal test through Welch
(value=301.514, p<.001) and Brown-Forsythe (value=301.514, 5.1.1 Knowledge
p<.001), and the result shows that the Levene is 10.781
(df=1/78, p<.01) reached the significant level. “Question 1” 1. Receiving nanotechnology integrated concept education
ANOVA test result reaches significant level (t = 2.112; p <.05), helps students build conceptual nanotechnology
of which the experiment group (M = 3.60; SD = 0.92) is higher knowledge effectively.
than the control group (M = 3.18; SD = 1.20). “Question 5” 2. Not receiving nanotechnology integrated concept
ANOVA test result reaches significant level (t = 2.594; p <.05), education does not help students absorb conceptual
of which the experiment group (M = 3.56; SD = 0.88) is higher nanotechnology knowledge.
than the control group (M = 3.16; SD = 1.22). “Question 15”
ANOVA test result reaches significant level (t = 5.474; p<.05), With the arrival of the information technology era, the rapid
of which the experiment group (M = 4.31; SD = 0.71) is higher social changes, and the constant changes in industries demands,
than the control group (M = 3.92; SD = 1.08). students are facing the task of learning new knowledge. We
know from this research result that receiving nanotechnology
4.3. Analysis of the variance in the practice scale of concept curriculum helps students to have a positive attitude in
teaching nanotechnology concept the learning of the integrated courses and can enhance building
nanotechnology knowledge.
Tested with independent sample t, the analysis result shows
whether the teaching conducted contributes to the students’ 5.1.2 Attitude
learning practice, where “Question 2: I can give examples of
nano-functions in the natural world.” , “Question 8: I can 1. Students receiving nanotechnology integrated concept
describe the physical characteristics of nano-scale.”, and education, in general, think that the teaching materials
“Question 12: I can analyze the related information or the prepared by this research is suitable for student learning,
characteristics of nano products.” reach a significant level of that it will not cause a burden in learning, and that
difference, as shown in Table 6; while the rest of the questions students are motivated to actively participate
fall below the significant level. nanotechnology related studies and activities.
We check the variance equal test through Welch (value=9.996, 2. Students receiving nanotechnology integrated concept
p<.001) and Brown-Forsythe (value=9.996, p<.001), and the education agree that appropriate nanotechnology
result shows that the Levene is 7.138 (df=1/78, p<.01) reached products may improve the convenience of human life.
the significant level. “Question 2” ANOVA test result reaches
Learning attitude refers to the psychological reaction to the
significant level (t = 0.508; p<.001), of which the experiment
teachers, the curriculum, the teaching materials, or the
group (M = 3.57; SD = 0.80) is higher than the control group
evaluations of the learning activities (Ji, 1965), and it also
(M = 2.68; SD = 0.93). “Question 8” ANOVA test result
affects the behavior choices of an individual to a particular
reaches significant level (t = 4.656; p <.05), of which the
object (Zhang, 2000). The study results show that students
experiment group (M = 3.04; SD = 0.75) is higher than the
receiving nanotechnology integrated concept education all
control group (M = 2.66; SD = 0.97). “Question 12” ANOVA
respond, in their learning attitude, that the study is meaningful
test result reaches significant level (t = 6.977; p<.001), of

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and that the guidance from the teachers of the experimental Acknowledgments
courses, the portion of the course units and the arrangement of
the living examples are appropriate. In addition, they are also The research could be proceeded smoothly with special thanks
highly motivated, during the course of study, to participate in to the research support from National Science Council (NSC
activities of the related topics to extend their breadth of 97-2511-S-003-038-MY2), and to Mr. Chang Tien-Chou,
knowledge. Principal of the National Hai-San Industrial Vocational High
School, and to Mr. Chen Long-Tai, chairman at Electrical
5.1.3 Practice Engineering Department, also to Mr. Peng Ming-Chih, teacher
at Electrical Engineering Department, for their full assistance
1. Students receiving nanotechnology integrated concept
in the experimental teaching.
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